Results for the Cannock Chase Half-Marathon, 07-May-2016
Laura has sent the following race report:
The inaugural Cannock Chase Half took place on one of the hottest days of the year so far (typical) with thermometers hitting what felt like 30 degrees (though was probably more like 20). The race started on Milford Common, with plenty of parking and plenty of toilets (no queuing, what luxury!).
According to the website, the route covers “68sq kms of prime forest and heathland trails with rare and endangered birds. There’s also a herd of approx 800 fallow deer so keep your eyes open as you go. ”
We certainly didn’t see any deer (no doubt they were in the shade, sensible) but could hear the birds in this scenic and peaceful area. No traffic noise, no roads, only cyclists, walkers and some kind of shooting event unnervingly near by.
The race started in three waves, with those expecting to finish between 1hr30-2hrs going in waves 1 and 2, and everyone else in wave 3.
The course started on a narrow uphill and just kept going up for around 6 miles. We started to lose count of the steep humpback hills (7? 8?) with some so steep and shale-y that we could only shuffle up and shuffle back down again. It was well worth the climbs (?) as we were rewarded with some fantastic views at the top and respite for our legs with some pleasant downhill. We also spotted a trig point at one of the peaks – I only this week learnt what they are and where there is one in Coventry (ask Helen King next time you see her).
A welcome water crossing at miles 2.5 and 7 kept us cool only for a short while as there were long stretches of neither uphill nor downhill in full sun. To our relief, the final mile was very much downhill and we sprinted over the finish line feeling like winners. And what do winners eat? Wimpy Burgers! Yes they really do still exist, apparently there are still 93 across the UK, one of them on Milford Common so we had a post-race treat of an ice lolly and a burger (in that order).
There were some issues with water stations (positioning and lack of water), these will hopefully be ironed out for next year’s race. And maybe if it were slightly cooler, that would help! There was a nice medal and a Decathlon-sponsored goody bag for all finishers, which topped off an enjoyable day out in a beautiful location. This race filled up very quickly when it opened in October, so be sure to sign up early to avoid disappointment 🙂
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